It was so much fun doing the top 10 Final Fantasy characters, I had to keep it going with the 10 worst. Just thinking about these games and characters reminds me of growing up and rocking these games with my best friends.
Honorable mentions. Gau and Relm (Final Fantasy VI/III in US) - In terms of usability, these two are probably the worst. Relm's sketch skill and Gau's rage skill are worthless. They are also fairly annoying any time they speak.
So why are they not gracing the top 10?
Shadow is a great character, and through him we learn that Relm is his daughter, who he deserted. Without Relm, Shadow is less complex and the player isn't waiting to see if he redeems himself with Relm.
As for Gau, the dude was thrown into the wild as a baby and was raised by the creatures of the Veldt (Think African plains). He also has some fun moments with Cyan and Sabin, which make the portions of the game where you have to use Gau tolerable.
10. Sazh (Final Fantasy XIII) - It is tragic that Sazh's son is turned into a crystal. His weapons are cool and the way he poses when he shoots is funny. But the character did nothing for the game itself. I actually forgot his name and had to look it up for this post.
Now, if we're talking costume and appearance, Sazh would be one of the best.
9. Zell (Final Fantasy VIII) - There are going to be a lot of people from this game. Here is what I remember about Zell. He used his fists and loved eating hot dogs. That's it. I don't remember him having any kind of story or being interesting at all.
8. Tidus (Final Fantasy X) - This was a great game, but the protagonist was one of the weakest the series has seen. I think part of my problem with Tidus is the voice acting for him was so terrible. His voice was annoying and had me hitting mute on several occasions. The fact he was a dream really upset me as well. I still don't get how that was supposed to work and how he and Yuna could have banged if he didn't really exist. Finally, if your main character has to say the line "This is my story" multiple times during the game, then clearly the writers didn't do a very good job of establishing him as the main guy. You never heard Cloud saying that crap.
7. Yu Yevon (Final Fantasy X), Necron (Final Fantasy IX), Orphan (Final Fantasy XIII) - These are bad guys that you don't know are the source of the game's evil until the end. Well, Necron isn't the source of evil, it is just thrown in there at the end and makes very little sense. I think they are perfect examples of the writers not knowing when to stop. Why couldn't these games end with their respective antagonists (Seymour and Sin, Kuja, and Barthandelus)? The three characters above serve no purpose in terms of you hating them, like the other bad guys. They are just there and annoy the player.
6. Amarant (Final Fantasy IX) - What do you get when you have a character with no story behind him, no comic relief, is useless in battle and the game would not change at all if they did not exist? You get Amarant. He would be higher, but he wasn't annoying. He was just pointless.
5. Cait Sith (Final Fantasy VII) - The man controlling the cat, Reeve, was actually a cool character in the Final Fantasy VII universe. He was a just man caught up in an evil organization. Unfortunately, instead of learning more about Reeve, we get Cait Sith, a robot cat that rides a stuffed moogle that looks nothing like a moogle.
All of the Final Fantasy games need a character for comic relief, and that is the role Sith plays. But if the player gets Yuffie, she fills this void and is actually a real person.
Cait Sith also gets emotional when his stuffed body is crushed by the Temple of the Ancients. But he is just a stuffed doll, another one shows up 5 minutes later. It's impossible to care about the character. Thank goodness there was no voice acting.
4. Squall (Final Fantasy VIII) - Other than a really cool weapon, Squall sucked. He was the worst protagonist the series has ever had when the game actually has a definite main character. He is sulky, annoying and boring.
3. Elena (Final Fantasy VII) - When one thinks of the Turks, the first things they think of are cool music, Reno, Rude and a feeling of bad assness. In the game, Reno is cool and does whatever he wants. He disobeys orders, has a pimp cane as a weapon and gets into fights when he is outnumbered. In the movie "Advent Children" he is hilarious.
Rude is quiet and cool. He just goes about his business and kicks ass when he has to.
Elena just doesn't fit as a Turk. She is talkative, annoying and ends up rolling down a mountain. Seriously, the Turks are supposed to be cool assassins that you don't want to mess with. Elena strikes no fear into anyone's heart.
2. Ultimecia (Final Fantasy VIII) - I hate this character to so much. In Final Fantasy VI we had Kefka. In Final Fantasy VII we had Sephiroth. These were two bad guys that made you hate them so much. You felt like you were actually doing the real world a favor by defeating them. These were guys who murdered women and children and didn't give it a second thought. They could be two of the greatest bad guys in video game history.
So then we get Ultimecia. She is a futuristic sorceress who is somehow controlling events in the past. You don't learn about her until 98 percent of the game is done. The idea behind her is something like she wants to become a goddess by compressing time or something like that. We don't learn much about her and don't really care about her.
Are you seeing a pattern with this list? If the character has a crappy story surrounding them, they are making this list. The best part about the Final Fantasy series is the story of each game. These are like great fantasy books in video game form. If you can't connect or care about the characters, positively or negatively, then those characters have failed.
1. Rinoa (Final Fantasy VIII) - Worst character the series has ever seen. I could go on for quite some time about Rinoa, but there is a simple way to show how much I disliked her.
In Final Fantasy VII, the player is so angry Aerith is murdered by Sephiroth. It makes the game so much better. Aerith is lovable, cute, fun and if anyone in that game deserved to live, it was her. Her death makes the game better, as it makes you feel what Cloud and his friends are feeling. You want to rip Sephiroth apart.
In complete contrast, there is a time Rinoa is floating in space and Squall has to go out and save her. In that moment, I wanted to close the spaceship door and leave her.
And then when Rinoa is a part of Adel and you have to heal Rinoa, while killing Adel, who is sucking life out of Rinoa, all you want to do kill Rinoa so she stops helping Adel!
So here is a character we are supposed to love and feel bad for, but I'm pretty sure every player wanted her to die or be incapacitated in some way so you never have to use her again. Compare that to Aerith, a character you're hoping there is some way to bring back and makes you want to punch the picture of Sephiroth in the instruction booklet.
I don't think I leveled Rinoa past 23.